Physician Assistant Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Alaska

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in Alaska which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

A sign welcoming people to Alaska

What You Need to Know About Alaska as a Locum Tenens PA?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in Alaska. 

Click here for open PA jobs in Alaska!

Alaska: A Brief History

Alaska, also known as “The Great Land,” has a rich history that dates back to the Russian settlement in 1784. In 1867, the United States purchased the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, a deal that was initially mocked but later celebrated after the discovery of gold in 1898. Alaska officially became a U.S. territory on October 18, 1867, and later gained statehood in 1959. The state has been home to significant events such as the Klondike Gold Rush and the only World War II battle fought on American soil.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area, spanning over 663,000 square miles, making it larger than the next three biggest states combined. During the summer solstice, some parts of Alaska experience nearly 24 hours of daylight, a phenomenon known as the “midnight sun.” Alaska is the perfect place for any adventure seeker to embark on their journey!

What is there to do and see in Alaska?

  • Hike the majestic Denali, the highest peak in North America, and explore the 17 of North America’s tallest mountains in the state.
  • Explore the outdoors! Alaska is home to some of the most beautiful views in the country,and filled with outdoor adventures such as dog mushing, kayaking, river rafting, and wildlife viewing. 
  • Immerse yourself in Alaska’s rich Native culture, witness the Alaska Native traditions, and visit historical sites to appreciate the state’s diverse heritage.
  • Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Aurora Borealis, a natural light display that paints the Alaskan night sky with vibrant colors.
  • Embark on a thrilling glacier trek and experience the power and beauty of Alaska’s glaciers up close.

How close is Alaska to other cities and states?

  • Alaska is located approximately 50 miles from Russia and has coastlines on the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea.
  • The state is the northernmost, easternmost, and westernmost point in the U.S., and its largest city, Anchorage, is home to the world’s largest and busiest seaplane base, Lake Hood.
  • Notably, despite its vast size, Alaska has the lowest population density in the U.S., providing plenty of area to explore without large crowds.

Given its unique history, diverse cultural experiences, and breathtaking natural landscapes, working in Alaska offers an unparalleled opportunity for exploration, adventure, and personal growth.

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice In Alaska


What is the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants in Alaska?

In Alaska, physician assistants (PAs) enjoy full practice authority, meaning they can practice medicine to the full extent of their education and training without direct physician supervision. This benefits patients by providing high-quality, patient-centered care, reducing costs, and improving access to care. 

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in Alaska?

In the state of Alaska, physician assistants (PAs) are authorized to sign death certificates. This authorization is granted by the Alaska Administrative Code and allows PAs to sign death certificates if they have personally attended the patient during their last illness. PAs are healthcare professionals who are trained to perform various medical tasks under the supervision of a physician. They are an important part of the healthcare team and provide valuable care to patients in various settings. The ability of PAs to sign death certificates is a significant recognition of their role in providing healthcare services and enables them to offer comprehensive care to their patients, even at the end of life.

Does Alaska Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

Alaska formally recognizes physician assistants (PAs) as primary care providers through its comprehensive statutes and administrative codes. The legal framework establishes educational requirements, licensing procedures, and the scope of practice for PAs, emphasizing collaboration with physicians for comprehensive patient care. Alaska’s recognition of PAs’ role reflects its proactive approach to addressing the healthcare needs of its population, ensuring high-quality, cost-effective, and patient-centered care.

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Alaska?

Physician assistants (PAs) in Alaska can prescribe schedule II drugs. PAs in Alaska work collaboratively with physicians and other healthcare professionals, ensuring comprehensive patient care through communication and consultation. They must also complete continuing education requirements to maintain their license and prescribing privileges. Overall, PAs in Alaska play a vital role in providing quality healthcare to patients, with the authority to prescribe medication safely and effectively.

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Alaska?

In the state of Alaska, physicians assistants (PAs) are acknowledged as healthcare professionals who can join the medical staff. This recognition highlights their significant contributions to delivering excellent patient care. PAs who qualify for medical staff membership gain various benefits, including collaboration with other healthcare professionals, involvement in decision-making, and opportunities for leadership positions. This recognition of PA’s expertise empowers them to influence healthcare policies, advocate for patient rights, and shape the future of healthcare delivery in Alaska. Overall, this recognition reflects Alaska’s commitment to valuing PA’s role in improving patient outcomes and enhancing the quality of healthcare services in the state.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in Alaska?

In Alaska, physician assistants (PAs) are legally authorized to order physical therapy for their patients. This authority aligns with the increasing role of PAs as healthcare providers, recognizing their education, training, and clinical judgment. PAs can provide comprehensive care to patients, including ordering PT, which can help improve their mobility, function, and overall quality of life. The ability of PAs to order PT enhances patient access to rehabilitative care, promotes collaborative healthcare, and improves the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery in Alaska.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Alaska?

Physician assistants (PAs) in Alaska are legally authorized to certify disability for parking placards. PAs are trained healthcare professionals who are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. The ability of PAs to certify disability for parking placards is an important service to individuals with disabilities, as it provides them with the necessary parking accommodations.

Can Physician Assistants Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in Alaska? 

In Alaska, physician assistants can sign POLST forms, medical orders that guide healthcare providers in making life-sustaining treatment decisions for seriously ill or life-limiting patients. These forms ensure that patient wishes are honored, even if they cannot communicate them. Physician assistants consider patients’ medical diagnosis, prognosis, values, preferences, and goals of care when signing POLST forms, which become legally binding and must be followed by healthcare providers. POLST forms provide clear instructions on desired or undesired treatments, such as CPR, mechanical ventilation, tube feeding, and preferred place of care. By signing POLST forms, physician assistants help patients exercise their right to self-determination and ensure their end-of-life care aligns with their wishes, promoting patient autonomy, dignity, and respect.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Alaska?

In Alaska, physicians have the legal authority to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, which direct that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) not be initiated or continued in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. Physicians must obtain informed consent from the patient before signing a DNR order. DNR orders can ensure that patients’ wishes are respected at the end of their lives. 

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physician Assistants in Alaska?

In Alaska, physician assistants (PAs) must complete 50 continuing education (CE) hours to renew their license. This requirement ensures that PAs stay current with medical advancements and provide high-quality healthcare. PAs can participate in various educational activities to meet this requirement, such as conferences, workshops, seminars, and online courses. By fulfilling the CE requirement, PAs demonstrate their commitment to lifelong learning and providing patient-centered care.

Find Your Next Nurse Practitioner Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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